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U.S. reduces B1 and B2 visa sanctions on Sierra Leone

31 March 2021 at 16:50 | 1266 views

The Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Sierra Leone, on Tuesday 30th March, 2021 informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through a Note Verbale of the decision by the Secretary of States of the United States of America to reduce the B1 and B2 visa sanctions on Sierra Leone under section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, effective Wednesday 31st March, 2021.

According to the US Embassy, the decision to lift the B1 and B2 visa sanctions on Sierra Leone came as a result of the increased cooperation of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone in facilitating the timely return of its nationals who have been subjected to final orders of removal from the United States of America.

The Embassy stated that Immigrant and most Nonimmigrant visas are no longer restricted under the INA 243(d) visa sanctions.

The Embassy further stated that the Government of the United States of America, recognizes the Government of Sierra Leone’s increased responsiveness to the request from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Visa sanctions, the Embassy maintained would only apply to B1, B2, and B1/B2 nonimmigrant visas for Sierra Leonean officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and immigration Department.

The Embassy continued that the Government of the United State will justify the complete removal of visa sanctions on Sierra Leone at a later date if the Government of Sierra Leone sustains the level of cooperation.

In August, 2017, the United States of America’s Secretary of Homeland Security informed the Secretary of State of an unreasonable delay by the Government of Sierra Leone to accept its citizens from the US.

In September, 2017, the Sectary of States imposed visa sanctions on B1, B2, and B1/B2 visas for officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

In September, 2020, the Embassy informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Secretary of States has expanded these sanctions to apply to all immigrant and nonimmigrant visas with some exception due to insufficient removal cooperation of Sierra Leonean nationals from the United States of America.

In view of the above, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone expresses sincere appreciation to the United States Government and reiterates its commitment to further deepening the cooperation between Sierra Leone and the United States of America.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Photo: US Ambassador David Reimer

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